ALEX WITHERDEN – 2018 Supercoach Spotlight

Filed in Brisbane, Brisbane 2018, Defenders, Midpricers, Supercoach, Supercoach 2018 by on 18/02/2018 • views: 5515

By Ben Madden (Patch is still chasing the boffins around trying to fix the ‘Patch posts everything’ bug.)

Can Alex Wither-TON avoid the second year blues?

Touted as a top 3 draft pick before injury struck, last year saw Brisbane Lions player Alex Witherden become a saviour to our backlines (and cash generation) everywhere. It’s time for Alex Witherden 2: Electric Boogaloo, with the defender looking to have a full-preseason and build on his short yet wonderful year (and possibly take out the Rising Star award, having only played nine games last year). But will he fall victim to the second year blues, or is this Lion ready to roar even louder in 2018?

Alex Witherden – The Facts

2018 Facts $478,900 DEF/MID
2017 Games 9
2017 Average 87.1
2017 100+ Scores 3
2017 Sub-80 scores 4
2017 Highs & Lows High of 109, low of 69


The Good

One of the reasons I think that Witherden is going to be a standout pick this year is due to his consistent Dream Team to Supercoach ratio. Often, when a player goes through an unsustainable purple patch they can tend to have a huge ratio, where one score is dratically out of whack with the other. However, when you look at Witherden’s season ratio, it actually comes out to 1:0.98. This is only going to improve as he gets more contested ball, and takes more contested marks, so I feel he has a lot of natural improvement left in his average.

The Lions have also got a young team, and with Rockliff leaving, there’s points up for grabs. Witherden might get injected into the midfield from time to time. Furthermore, he only spent 80 per cent of the game on the field over the season. With another preseason under his belt, that could bump up to 85 per cent, which would give him more minutes to score.

The Bad

Unfortunately, it might take a little longer than this year for Witherden to reach his full potential. He only averaged 4.9 contested possessions last year. If you’re new to Supercoach, contested possessions = gold. Personally, I’d like to see that hit 7 to 8 a game, as that gives his average a little bit more certainty. This is a trend across his season stats averages in general. Whilst he is a great player on the outside, his game doesn’t naturally lend itself to being a Supercoach beast just yet.

The Verdict

For me, Alex Witherden is only going to improve this year, and whilst his pricetag is steep, the addition of Luke Hodge could propel him to the next level. He has a killer boot, and the Lions will look to direct more of the play through him, as last year demonstrated his ability to hit up targets.

If you’re looking for reliability, Witherden may not be the best option, as he is a little bit of an unknown quantity. However, Witherden is looking like he might just be a premium in the future, and he could make the step up this year. After all, how many rookies average 87 in their first 9 games?

Ben Madden is on twitter – follow him @benmaddentweets.

Comments (43)

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  1. hedski says:

    Could be one to bring in if he can continue on from last season but a bit of a steep price for a 9 game player.
    Thanks Benji, i enjoy yours and Joel's work in Good Charlotte.

  2. Seeker says:

    I am tempted but his price at $479k is serious money for a guy who’s played 9 games. 2nd year break out prospects are risky, he’s just as likely he’ll have 2nd year blues

  3. Rick Grimes says:

    Wait and see for me. If he is the goods you'll be able to pick him up for the same or less money later in the season. To start I will go with tried and true. Cheers for the article.

  4. Bob says:

    Def wait and see, 9 games in and that price tag is too much. Will look at Wright from North Melbourne to save some cash

  5. Tyruddanaut says:

    I’m not sure how I feel, I read the verdict but it only had maybes, the good section were all shoulds and the bad were the only ones that made pure sense, I’ll pass

  6. Krups says:

    Simpson better value at $30,000 more?

  7. SC_Kev7 says:

    Cheers, Ben. Enjoyed the read.

    I liked Alex in december but a few have overtaken him. I'd go the other way and say that for a rebounding defender, uncontested possessions are the ones he needs to lift to improve his floor.

    I'll enjoy watching him (do Brisbane get televised anymore? 😜) but not more fantasy purposes this year.

  8. The Ranger says:

    I was super impressed with him last year.
    I might lose my nerve nearer the start of the season and turn to a safer option but he's in at D3 at the moment.

  9. TRIGGA_HAPPY says:

    Bit of a wait and see.
    To pay almost premo prices for a 9 gamer.
    Wow.
    Neil will tell you for the same price you can get McDonald who is a bit more seasoned
    There r so many in and around this price bracket in defence.
    Was in an earlier draft team but has currently been replaced.
    Wait and see.

    • Tibor says:

      Not sure which McDonald you mean. If it's Oscar I wouldn't think so. Assuming you mean Tom he was great last year but if Melbourne have Hogan and Gawn available for most of the season rather than making cameo appearances Tom's role becomes a bit unclear. He gets used as a swing man rather than settling and he may be just fine but it is an unknown… This role did Harry Taylor no favours last year..

      • TRIGGA_HAPPY says:

        Neil is all over Tom im not convinced yet.

      • INPieman says:

        He might be referring to Luke McDonald Tibor. Like every other player in the AFL he's getting more midfield time this year

      • neil Demons Delight says:

        Thanks Trigg you are correct .Believe me Tibor 100% The great TMAC is forward this year. Not sighted at all training with the DEF.Trigg for the same coin you can have Lloyd why bother with a 9 gamer .LLOYD gets you 95 – 100 and consistency Not for me

  10. Tibor says:

    Alex's price puts me off a little for a nine gamer. All credit to him for what he did with 9 games but I wouldn't think too many opposition sides gave a rats about Brisbane or put any work into defending Alex last year. He is an interesting one to watch but for me not enough revealed form to justify the money.

    Personally I like Harry Taylor if JLT games indicate he is likely to be able to settle consistently in the backline

  11. Post_MaSloane says:

    Is in my team but am beginning to rethink. Worst case if you don't start him is he jumps $70k in price. Not bad considering the risk. I'm talking myself out of this pick just writing this comment… Supercoach, why must you be so bloody arousing?

  12. INPieman says:

    My 9 year old lad has Witherden in his team. He was ranked as high as 40th overall last season. So I pay attention to his selections. Not sure I've got big enough balls to pick him. But one thing is for sure Mr Witherden will be a supercoach STUD for many years to some. I have no doubt he's the next Docherty down back. Nice work Ben

  13. Beezneez says:

    I've had him at D4 since my first draft. However, I've cooled of him because for a little more I can get Simpson. I'm thinking I'll replace him with either Simpson or Yeo (my no.1 pick but depends whether or not he gets up for round 1).

    • TRIGGA_HAPPY says:

      Geez Beez must be a strong defence if he is your D4.

      • neil Demons Delight says:

        Simmo might be a good pick without Doc but BEEZ I would go deep forward not def..Better def choices by far.

      • Beezneez says:

        Hurley, Laird and Hibberd. Yeo was my first pick but he's had a slight setback – will need to monitor. Might have to downgrade Witherden to balance other lines.

  14. Steve says:

    Heya JR community, can't decide if I want Danger in my team or not. Which of the two below options do we think is better?

    Option 1: Danger, Coniglio, Witherden
    Option 2: Josh Kelly, Gibbs, Brandon Ellis

    All feedback appreciated 🙂

  15. Gaveday says:

    At his price I think you can afford to wait and see. It's not like he'll jump 100k by rd 5, smells like a potential corrective, injury cover trade to me.

  16. don’t Blush says:

    Looking at teams I see that Yo Yo is not picked in many, why is this so ? Do we think he won’t back it up from 17 ? I can’t see why he won’t maintain his 100 average , thoughts please

  17. Paulie Walnuts says:

    He had a hip issue in January , I believe all it is good now

  18. Stan says:

    Anyone know how to remove my team from a league. Someone helpfully suggested I use the Leave League option but I can't find such a thing. I am looking in the Leagues page but no good. I am using the app on an iPad does that make any difference to the website ?

  19. Shano says:

    GAJ debut was 2002, I think this might pre date SuperCoach. Even if champion Data went back and scored his games retrospectively I'm not sure how relevant the comparison to Witherden is.

    Did you know that the fastest in terms of games played for a player to kick 50 goals was John Coleman who just pipped the great Allen Jakovich by one game

    • neil Demons Delight says:

      I have a picture of him leading a young crippled lad out to training.Underated footballer and person.

      • Tibor says:

        I like him too Neil but it just seems like big money. Probably more concerned with how he travels given Brisbanes ordinary prospects. On the other hand have they brought in Hodge specifically to develop talent like Witherden…. if I'm not careful I'll talk myself around and get him in

  20. Tibor says:

    Thoughts on Cam O'Shea instead of a rookie given Doc absence

    • Russty_ says:

      He has averaged 74 before Tibor but that was 4-5 years ago, hasn't done much of note recently.

      • Tibor says:

        Neither have I Rusty maybe that's why I like him. I'm just not all that enthused by the rookie choices and this bloke might have a decent opportunity in front of him

  21. Russty_ says:

    Hey Neil, I reckon Withers could average 90 – 100+ this year, could end up being a keeper possibly.

  22. Duncan says:

    What are the thoughts Ryan Burton? I think will play the Luke Hodge role & can only improve. Pretty good POD if everyone wants Sicily. What do you think.

  23. neil Demons Delight says:

    addicts anon and the winning choice where are you A GRADERS awaits 335120